A residential development is expected to rise in downtown Nanaimo.
Island Creek Developments is moving forward with a six-storey condominium project on 91 Chapel St. The building, which will be constructed on a 1,660 square metre site that was once home to a movie theatre and bowling lanes, features two floors of penthouse suites, ground floor bachelor units that include retail frontage and one and two bedroom units as well as a courtyard between Chapel and Skinner streets.
On Thursday (Aug. 24), Island Creek Developments held an open house where they gave the public a chance to look at building renderings and ask questions about the project.
John Cooper, team leader of sales and marketing for the project, said the development will result in more people living and potentially working downtown, thus providing an economic boost to nearby businesses.
“This development represents 61 new people or families that are moving into the downtown core, who are going to spend money in those shops, attend the restaurants and coffee shops,” he said.
The condo is priced in a way that allows younger buyers as well as older buyers the opportunity to live downtown according to Cooper, who said units range in price from $259,000 to as high as $750,000.
“The fifth and sixth floors are targeted to a downsizing higher end type of clientele. Those are the only two floors that are fitted with natural gas,” he said. “Our bottom four floors are at a price point that makes them more affordable.”
Nanaimo-based company Windley Contracting will be in charge of constructing the six-storey condo. Cooper said the units include furnishings that are made in British Columbia.
“Our cabinets come from a boutique manufacture in Nelson,” he said. “This is made in Canada, manufactured specifically for this project. This isn’t getting shipped over from China.”
Cooper, who was the president of the now defunct Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association, said 91 Chapel takes advantage of existing infrastructure and provides a boost to the city’s downtown core, which has been the subject of revitalization efforts for years.
“We are taking advantage of existing infrastructure and providing residential density exactly where the community needs it. This is a huge project for downtown Nanaimo and a successful and thriving downtown is going to be dependent on more of these projects,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin next year and occupancy is anticipated for 2019.
“I can announce today that we are firmly moving forward with construction,” Cooper said.